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Family at Bar Mitzvah

Object number
2021.11.2

Donor
M LOMOTEY

Object Information

This is a photograph taken from Yeshaya’s Bar Mitzvah. The Bar Mitzvah is a coming of age ceremony for boys when they turn 13. This coming of age ceremony marks the transition of boys to man in religious terms. Following this point, it becomes Yeshaya’s responsibility to uphold the commandments (read the Torah, wear tefillin etc)

Yeshaya stands at the back holding a Torah, festooned in a breastplate and rimmonim. During the Bar Mitzvah, the celebrant is often called to read a Torah portion and/or deliver a speech in front of the congregation.

The celebrant is surrounded by his cousins and friends. The Bar Mitzvah is not only a religious responsibility, but a celebration and an opportunity for your loved ones to join together.

Yeshaya is a Black British Jew with his heritage in Ghana. There is a Jewish community in the town of Sefwi Wiawso, Ghana. This community now goes by the name ‘The House of Israel.’

There are many other Jewish communities across the African continent from the Ethiopian Beta Israel Jews to the Igbo Jews of Nigeria

Hear from the donor

What does Judaism mean to you?

I once read Judaism is an attitude to reality, I concur with this summation.

All of my life is centred on this aspect of my identity which is inextricably linked to all the other parts of how I identify; the scientist, the Black man in a white world, the parent, the brother, son, spouse, climate activist, Jew.

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